Symmetrical? I wish. (fitness/workout question)

Discussion in 'Underwear, Clothing, and Appearance Issues' started by D_Tim McGnaw, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    So after years of working out to various levels of intensity and having been a variety of different levels of physical fitness and development (seriously I've been everything from stick thin, to pretty muscly, to tub of lard, to just average and all of them multiple times) I have done lots and lots of different kinds of upper body exercises and used a lot of equipment.

    But throughout all this one fact has remained the same, my upper body is marginally asymmetrical. I know this is fairly common, and in most cases it isn't all that pronounced, but in my case it's always been slightly more pronounced than I'd like, though not enough that anyone else has ever really noticed.

    I'm back to working out fairly regularly again now, and I suppose this is a question for our hardened gym goers and fitness aficionados, but how do I counter and rectify this asymmetry?

    My right arm is larger than my left arm, and is much stronger (not uncommon I know, but I have a feeling this is more than average), and my left pec is larger and stronger and better developed than my right one.

    I get the feeling that my right arm compensates for the weakness of the right pec, and the left pec compensates for the weakness of the left arm, hence the disparity.

    I've done targeted exercises like pressups on one arm, free weights routines, increasing numbers of reps to work the less developed muscle groups etc etc which claim to help with this, they haven't been very successful, but does anyone have any tips and tricks I could use to try to remedy this, or am I stuck with what nature gave me?
     
  2. treeoflife

    treeoflife New Member

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    OMG I am in the exact same situation my right pec is smaller than left and right arm is slightly stronger than left. I don't know what to do about it myself. Maybe it's an irish thing lol
     
  3. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    You know what? With the evil bounty of faulty genes I've inherited from the Irish side of my family I wouldn't be surprised :biggrin1::wink:
     
  4. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    Oh come on someone must have some good advice :p
     
    #4 D_Tim McGnaw, Nov 16, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010
  5. cece

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    In Hollywood, they spray on pecs and abs whenever or wherever you need them. Ahhh... the magic of makeup! :biggrin1:
     
  6. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    Well if all else fails I'll just raid my plastic surgery fund and get implants :biggrin1::biggrin1::biggrin1:
     
  7. KTF40

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    This seems like it would do it.

    My right bicep is slightly stronger than my left, and I've been making steady gains to fix that by doing a set of curls just for my left arm at the end of my workout.

    Also, when you're working out, maybe try and focus on pushing the weight out evenly. Like I know on the bench press, you'll see guys lift the bar up unevenly because one side is stronger than the other. You just gotta focus pressing/lifting evenly.

    Also, focus on dumbbell workouts. Once the left arm gives out, even if you can do more reps with your right, just stop. That way you know you are not working out one arm harder than the other.

    In terms of the pec, if you can do this at exercise at 4:40 (YouTube - Phil Heath Chest MET-Rx Training Video) do that. Except, always keep your right arm above your left when at the peak contraction of the exercise. That will focus on the right pec.
     
  8. D_Tim McGnaw

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    That's interesting because even when the left arm gives out I've tended to push through to do a full set anyway (and of course my left arm's been sore for it after), I've wondered if I'm forcing it to do reps it can't do and doing more harm than good sometimes...

    The cable crossover tip's a goodun.

    Thanks. :smile:
     
  9. B_curiousme01

    B_curiousme01 New Member

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    YOGA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please try a Vinyasa Yoga 1 class. You have the strength to get through the class because you already workout. Not only does yoga work every single muscle you have, it creates balance because you work both sides of your body equally. This type of class burns about 200 calories and hour, so it's a good workout too. Hot Yoga burns about 800 calories, but it can hurt you if you are not already around a level 2.
     
  10. D_Tim McGnaw

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    Thanks curiousme :wink: I've been thinking about taking up Yoga for ages and ages, a friend of mine corrected a stoop in his back doing Ashtanga, so I'll probably take your advice.

    I'm not sure about the hot Bikram Yoga, another friend of mine does that, and there's really only one place in Dublin that does it, she says the place stinks because of all the people sweating and stuff, I just know I'd prolly vomit :tongue:

    But yeah Vinyasa yoga is probably what I'd take up.
     
    #10 D_Tim McGnaw, Nov 17, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
  11. B_curiousme01

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    HEHEHE! Yoga studios should not stink :confused:. Hot yoga is not for everyone, but if you fell in love with Vinyasa (easy to do and happens to the best of us), you would probably want to add a class at some point. There are lots of styles and every instructor is different. Vinyasa flows from one pose to the next. Very good for you.

    I really do hope you try it at least to see what it's all about. The thing with yoga, is you get a natural "high" from doing it. I'm not a runner, but I have heard of a runners high. Anyways, it will balance out your body, mind, and muscle group all at once. Please let me know if you take one. Very interested to know your thoughts.
     
  12. SpeedoMike

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    Breasts? :3some:
     
  13. D_Tim McGnaw

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    I would look sooooo hot with tits :biggrin1::biggrin1::biggrin1:
     
  14. Bbucko

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    Oh I'm quite sure :cool: But seriously, pec implants look much better than arm implants (which would also be extremely painful.

    The yoga route is an excellent recommendation. When the arthritis in my neck (and creeping age) started getting increasing painful in my later 30s, I tried it and can vouch for its many positive qualities. A few years later, following a serious injury that had me on a cane for months, a yoga-centric physical therapist was instrumental in getting my life (and full mobility) back.

    As I posted here, my gym workouts were always about tone rather than bulk, and I always favored free weights over machines. Lower-than-average weights combined with larger sets of greater-than-average reps helped me achieve the lean look I was after. It seems kinda obvious, but wouldn't increasing the weight during exercises involving the lesser-developed areas help somewhat? Both pec and arm exercises can be easily accomplished with dumbbells.

    And I've also gotta ask: is this asymmetry really that apparent, or is it just something your mind's eye seeks out in a quest to locate supposed "flaws"? Gay men are notorious as regards issues with body image (I know I sure have a few).
     
  15. D_Tim McGnaw

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    Yeah I've seen some good pec implant work over the years, but bicep implants never quite look right. I didn't know they were terribly painful too, good to know.

    Yeah I think I'll end up doing Yoga, I've heard Pilates can be good too, but I think Yoga is supposed to be a more directs root to better body wellness.

    Yeah I've never been much for machines, though I have used them, especially for cardio, I used a rowing machine for years and it was a life saver frankly.

    I've tried to rectify the problem with increasing weight/intensity/reps etc on the less developed muscle groups, and it's never really worked, and I've really put the effort in believe me.


    Hmmmm, like I say no one else has ever noticed it or said anything to me about it anyway. I've been aware of it since I was in my late teens though, and while I accept that I have the self abusive homo-habit of undue focus on body image issues I can't pretend that I'll ever be strong enough to completely suppress that mania. Mind you I'm pretty certain this mania doesn't verge on body dysmorphia.

    I suppose it's one of those things, once you know something like that about yourself, a flaw of some kind you just can't forget about it and it remains in your psyche and part of your self image. That's what fuels the plastic surgery trade and I can't say I'm immune to it.
     
  16. B_curiousme01

    B_curiousme01 New Member

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  17. B_curiousme01

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  18. bid6555

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    Do dumbell work starting with the weak side and do only as many reps with the strong as you did with the weak. I am a fan of the big compund lifts they will get you strong. Check for limbs length descrepancies. Stretch!

    Good luck,
    WR
     
  19. maxcok

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    I favor free weights over machines, and dumbbells over barbells as much as possible. Try to keep your body in perfect alignment, and isolate the movement using only the muscle you are working, holding everything else still and strong, but not too tense. You can even do this with machines if you are creative, e.g. using only one side of the 'pec deck'. If you are doing exercises like a bench press where both arms are required, you can still push harder on your weaker side if you develop a conscious kinisthetic sense of your body.

    Working your weaker side harder will give you results, but only to a point. In order to gain muscle mass, you have to stress and 'tear down' the cells so your body increases muscle tissue in the repair/recovery stage. If you push past a certain point and don't get enough rest or don't have sufficient protein stores available afterward, you can actually make the muscle shrink. If you really are that asymmetrical, I would consider pulling back on your stronger side, using lower weights and/or fewer reps to maintain tone, while you concentrate on building up your weaker side.

    Depending on your own digestive rate and metabolsm, you should make sure you have extra protein available in your bloodstream for 12 to 24 hours following muscle building exercise. I favor supplementing beforehand with whey protein powder for quick easy absorption and creatine monohydrate for extra stamina and quicker gains. Also, some quickly absorbed carbs after your workout will prevent your body from robbing its protein stores for enery, and restricting fat intake too severely will work against you. So go ahead and have that Snickers bar. You earned it. :wink:

    Timing is important. I recommend working a particular muscle group hard no more than once every three days, with minimum two days to recover. Alternatively: medium day, rest day, light day, rest day, heavy day, rest day, rest day - if you're keeping a 7 day schedule. Take it easy after your workout, and never, never follow muscle building exercise with aerobics, though slow stretching before and after is good. If you can take things fairly easy the next 24 hrs, all the better.

    Hope this helps. I look forward to seeing your first magazine cover. :biggrin2:
     
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